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They Give: 2018 DTA Foundation Scholarship Winners Speak Out—Maria Dreeszen

DTA Foundation scholarship recipient Maria Dreeszen will be graduating from the Creighton University School of Dentistry in 2019. Recently, we caught up with her and chatted about volunteer work and the DTA Foundation scholarship.

With all you’re already doing, how difficult is it to find the time to volunteer and why do you think it’s important?

Dental school is definitely busy, but volunteer work has always been very important to me and there is always a way to find time for it. Even carving out a few hours a month for volunteer work can make a significant difference. It also helps to strengthen my education by applying what I have learned in our clinical and didactic courses to educate and serve those in the community.


What is your favorite type of volunteer work to do?

I have always greatly enjoyed working with children. I particularly look forward to volunteer work that involves teaching oral hygiene instructions to children in order to improve their oral health and contribute to a solid foundation for their future development of good health habits.


What was your reaction when you found out you’d gotten a DTA Foundation scholarship?

I felt extremely honored to receive the DTA Foundation scholarship. I remember receiving the phone call and being overwhelmed with gratitude.


How will having the scholarship make a difference to you?

Although student loans make my dental education possible, they present a great deal of financial stress. Senior year, especially, involves additional expenses for licensing exams. The DTA Foundation scholarship came at a perfect time and has made a huge difference for me. It lessened my financial stress by providing funds to cover expenses for which I otherwise would have needed to take out additional loans. It has, therefore, had short term and long term benefits for me.


What would you like to say to the donors who make the scholarship possible?

I would like to let the donors know that I am incredibly grateful for their support and I hope that they realize what a tremendous impact the scholarship made on my final year of dental school. I cannot thank them enough for contributing to the scholarship and encouraging community service. Their generosity has gone a long way in making my dental school education possible.


How are you planning to continue your volunteer work after graduation?

I plan to take advantage of the many opportunities to contribute to the needs of the community such as by volunteering at health fairs to encourage preventive dentistry. Providing dental care to those who are without access is extremely important. I am grateful to be pursuing a career that offers such a great opportunity to serve others.